Tayside Business Warning After Aberdeen Covid-19 SpikeNeil Hardie
Tayside and Fife businesses have been warned they could be shut down immediately to stem a second coronavirus wave and allow children to return to school.
Aberdeen was pushed back into lockdown by the Scottish Government, following a spike in the number of cases linked to a bar, with 54 confirmed so far and almost 200 close contacts traced in the city.
In the last 24 hours, 64 new cases have been reported across Scotland – 36 of them in Grampian.
Additional police are being sent to the north-east to help enforce restrictions.
Dundee East MSP Shona Robison reminded Dundee’s residents and businesses to remain vigilant and warned, despite the “good levels of compliance” to social distancing she has experienced locally, Aberdeen’s situation is a “reminder” of the virus’ potency.
NHS Tayside said it has plans in place ahead of any surge in cases.
A five-mile travel rule has been put in place in Aberdeen and residents are being told not to enter each other’s houses.
All indoor and outdoor hospitality venues were told to close by 5pm.
The first minister said the rise in cases around the world had been worrying her in recent weeks, but that for many people this could seem far away.
“There’s always a sense of ‘we’re doing well and it won’t happen here’.
“It can happen here and it happening here, in Aberdeen.
“The last thing we want to do is to reimpose these restrictions but this outbreak is reminding us just how highly infectious Covid is.
“Our precautionary and careful judgment is that we need to take decisive action now, difficult as that undoubtedly is, in order to try to contain this outbreak and prevent further harm later on.
“As I said earlier, this is about doing all we can to ensure our children can return to schools next week.
“Acting now, we judge, gives us the time and the space to protect the ability of our young people to return to education.” is
The Federation of Small Businesses said government “at all levels” would need to “step up” and help those affected.
Chairman Andrew Mcrae said: “While local lockdowns might be necessary to prevent additional nationwide restrictions, today’s announcement will be a hammer blow for independent firms in Aberdeen and the north-east.
“We’ll need to see government at all levels step up to help smaller businesses and the self-employed affected by this lockdown, including financial support if it becomes necessary.”
Ms Robison said: “The situation in Aberdeen, with restrictions being reintroduced, is a timely reminder that this pandemic and the threat of the virus is far from over.
“It is crucial that people in Dundee and other parts of Scotland do all they can to avoid the same situation.”
An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “Through Test and Protect we are continuing to monitor all new cases of Covid and respond accordingly.
“Advice to the public is if they have any concerns they may have symptoms of Covid-19 then they, and their household, should isolate immediately, and the person with symptoms should refer themselves for testing.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and have plans in place to respond to any increases in cases in the Tayside area if needed.”
Police Scotland deputy chief constable Will Kerr said: “It’s really important that people follow the instructions and guidance from the Scottish Government.
“To support that, we will have additional patrols in Aberdeen, where restrictions have been reintroduced.
“Our approach to these local restrictions will reflect the consistent approach taken by Police Scotland since the outset of this pandemic, and our officers will continue to engage, educate and encourage people to comply, as we all support the public health efforts to stop the spread of the virus.”